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And it needs must be ridiculous to any judgment unenthralled, that they, who in other matters express so little fear either of God or man, should in this one particular outstrip all precisianism with their scruples and cases, and fill men's ears continually with the noise of their conscientious loyalty and allegiance to the king, rebels in the meanwhile to God in all their actions besides much less that they, whose professed loyalty and allegiance led them to direct arms against the king's person, and thought him nothing violated by the sword of hostility drawn by them against him, should now in earnest think him violated by the unsparing sword of justice, which undoubtedly so much the less in vain she bears among men, by how much greater and in highest place the offender. Else justice, whether moral or political, were not justice, but a false counterfeit of that impartial and godlike virtue. The only grief is, that the head was not strook off to the best advantage and commodity of them that held it by the hair :* an ingrateful and perverse generation, who having first cried to God to be delivered from their king, now murmur against God that heard their prayers, and cry as loud for their king against those that delivered them. But as to the author of these soliloquies, whether it were undoubtedly the late king, as is vulgarly believed, or any secret coadjutor, and some stick not to name him; it can add nothing, nor shall take from the weight, if any be, of reason which he brings. But allegations, not reasons, are the main contents of this book, and need no more than other contrary allegations to lay the question before all men in an even balance; though it were supposed, that the testimony of one man, in his own cause affirming, could be of any moment to bring in doubt the authority of a parliament denying. But if these his fair-spoken words shall be here fairly confronted and laid parallel to his own far differing deeds, manifest and visible to the whole nation, then surely we may look on them who, notwithstanding, shall persist to give to bare words more credit than to open deeds, as men whose judgment was not rationally evinced and persuaded, but fatally stupefied and bewitched into such a blind and obstinate belief: for whose cure it may be doubted, not whether any charm, though never so wisely murmured, but whether any prayer can be available. This however would be remembered and well noted, that while the king, instead of that repentance which was in reason and in conscience to be expected from him, without which we could not lawfully readmit him, persists here to maintain and justify the most apparent of his evil doings, and washes over with at court-fucus the worst and foulest of his actions, disables and uncreates the parliament itself, with all our laws and native liberties that ask not his leave, dishonours and attaints all protestant churches not prelatical, and what they piously reformed, with the slander of rebellion, sacrilege, and hypocrisy; they, who seemed of late to stand up hottest for the covenant, can now sit mute and much pleased to hear all these opprobrious things uttered against their faith, their freedom, and themselves in their own doings made traitors to boot: the divines, also, their wizards, can be so brazen as to cry Hosanna to this his book, which cries louder against them for no disciples of Christ, but of Iscariot; and to seem now convinced with these withered arguments and reasons here, the same which in some other writings of that party, and in his own former declarations and expresses, they have so often heretofore endeavoured to confute and to explode; none appearing all this while to vindicate church or state from these calumnies and reproaches but a small handful of men, whom they

*The author adds in the first edition, "which observation, though made by a common enemy, may for the truth of it hereafter become a proverb."

defame and spit at with all the odious names of schism and sectarism. I never knew that time in England, when men of truest religion were not counted sectaries: but wisdom now, valour, justice, constancy, prudence united and embodied to defend religion and our liberties, both by word and deed, against tyranny, is counted schism and faction. Thus in a graceless age things of highest praise and imitation under a right name, to make them infamous and hateful to the people, are miscalled. Certainly, if ignorance and perverseness will needs be national and universal, then they who adhere to wisdom and to truth, are not therefore to be blamed, for being so few as to seem a sect or faction. But in my opinion it goes not ill with that people where these virtues grow so numerous and well joined together, as to resist and make head against the rage and torrent of that boisterous folly and superstition, that possesses and hurries on the vulgar sort. This therefore we may conclude to be a high honour done us from God, and a special mark of his favour, whom he hath selected as the sole remainder, after all these changes and commotions, to stand upright and stedfast in his cause; dignified with the defence of truth and public liberty; while others, who aspired to be the top of zealots, and had almost brought religion to a kind of trading monopoly, have not only by their late silence and neutrality belied their profession, but foundered themselves and their consciences, to comply with enemies in that wicked cause and interest, which they have too often cursed in others, to prosper now in the same themselves.

I. Upon the king's calling this last parliament.

THAT which the king lays down here as his first foundation, and as it were the head stone of his whole structure, that "he called this last parliament, not more by others' advice, and the necessity of his affairs, than by his own choice and inclination;" is to all knowing men so apparently not true, that a more unlucky and inauspicious sentence, and more betokening the downfall of his whole fabric, hardly could have come into his mind. For who knows not, that the inclination of a prince is best known either by those next about him, and most in favour with him, or by the current of his own actions? Those nearest to this king, and most his favourites, were courtiers and prelates; men whose chief study was to find out which way the king inclined, and to imitate him exactly: how these men stood affected to parliaments cannot be forgotten. No man but may remember, it was their continual exercise to dispute and preach against them; and in their common discourse nothing was more frequent, than that "they hoped the king should now have no need of parliaments any more." And this was but the copy, which his parasites had industriously taken from his own words and actions, who never called a parliament but to supply his necessities; and having supplied those, as suddenly and ignominiously dissolved it, without redressing any one grievance of the people: sometimes choosing rather to miss of his subsidies, or to raise them by illegal courses, than that the people should not still miss of their hopes. to be relieved by parliaments.

The first he broke off at his coming to the crown, for no other cause than to protect the duke of Buckingham against them who had accused him, besides other heinous crimes, of no less than poisoning the deceased king his father; concerning which matter the declaration of "No more Addresses”

hath sufficiently informed us. And still the latter breaking was with more affront and indignity put upon the house and her worthiest members, than the former. Insomuch that in the fifth year of his reign, in a proclamation he seems offended at the very rumour of a parliament divulged among the people; as if he had taken it for a kind of slander, that men should think him that way exorable, much less inclined: and forbids it as a presumption to prescribe him any time for parliaments; that is to say, either by persuasion or petition, or so much as the reporting of such a rumour: for other manner of prescribing was at that time not suspected. By which fierce edict, the people, forbidden to complain, as well as forced to suffer, began from thenceforth to despair of parliaments. Whereupon such illegal actions, and especially to get vast sums of money, were put in practice by the king and his new officers, as monopolies, compulsive knighthoods, coat, conduct, and ship-money, the seizing not of one Naboth's vineyard, but of whole inheritances, under the pretence of forest or crown-lands; corruption and bribery compounded for, with impunities granted for the future, as gave evident proof, that the king never meant, nor could it stand with the reason of his affairs, ever to recall parliaments: having brought by these irregular courses the people's interest and his own to so direct an opposition, that he might foresee plainly, if nothing but a parliament could save the people, it must necessarily be his undoing.

Till eight or nine years after, proceeding with a high hand in these enormities, and having the second time levied an injurious war against his native country Scotland; and finding all those other shifts of raising money, which bore out his first expedition, now to fail him, not "of his own choice and inclination," as any child may see, but urged by strong necessities, and the very pangs of state, which his own violent proceedings had brought him to, he calls a parliament; first in Ireland, which only was to give him four subsidies and so to expire; then in England, where his first demand was but twelve subsidies to maintain a Scots war, condemned and abominated by the whole kingdom: promising their grievances should be considered afterwards. Which when the parliament, who judged that war itself one of their main grievances, made no haste to grant, not enduring the delay of his impatient will, or else fearing the conditions of their grant, he breaks off the whole session, and dismisses them and their grievances with scorn and frustration.

Much less therefore did he call this last parliament by his own choice and inclination; but having first tried in vain all undue ways to procure money, his army of their own accord being beaten in the north, the lords petitioning, and the general voice of the people almost hissing him and his ill acted regality off the stage, compelled at length both by his wants and by his fears, upon mere extremity he summoned this last parliament. And how is it possible, that he should willingly incline to parliaments, who never was perceived to call them but for the greedy hope of a whole national bribe, his subsidies; and never loved, never fulfilled, never promoted the true end of parliaments, the redress of grievances; but still put them off, and prolonged them, whether gratified or not gratified; and was indeed the author of all those grievances? To say, therefore, that he called this parliament of his own choice and inclination, argues how little truth we can expect from the sequel of this book, which ventures in the very first period to affront more than one nation with an untruth so remarkable; and presumes a more implicit faith in the people of England, than the pope ever commanded from the Romish laity; or else a natural sottishness fit to be abused and ridden; while in the judgment of wise men, by laying the foun

dation of his defence on the avouchment of that which is so manifestly true, he hath given a worse soil to his own cause, than when his whole forces were at any time overthrown. They therefore, who think such great service done to the king's affairs in publishing this book, will find themselves in the end mistaken; if sense and right mind, or but any mediocrity of knowledge and remembrance, hath not quite forsaken men.

But to prove his inclination to parliaments, he affirms here, "to have always thought the right way of them most safe for his crown, and best pleasing to his people." What he thought, we know not, but that he ever took the contrary way, we saw; and from his own actions we felt long ago what he thought of parliaments or of pleasing his people: a surer evidence than what we hear now too late in words.

He alleges, that "the cause of forbearing to convene parliaments was the sparks, which some men's distempers there studied to kindle." They were indeed not tempered to his temper; for it neither was the law, nor the rule, by which all other tempers were to be tried; but they were esteemed and chosen for the fittest men, in their several counties, to allay and quench those distempers, which his own inordinate doings had inflamed. And if that were his refusing to convene, till those men had been qualified to his temper, that is to say, his will, we may easily conjecture what hope there was of parliaments, had not fear and his insatiate poverty, in the midst of his excessive wealth, constrained him.

"He hoped by his freedom and their moderation to prevent misunderstandings." And wherefore not by their freedom and his moderation? But freedom he thought too high a word for them, and moderation too mean a word for himself: this was not the way to prevent misunderstandings. He still "feared passion and prejudice in other men ;" not in himself: "and doubted not by the weight of his" own "reason, to counterpoise any faction;" it being so easy for him, and so frequent, to call his obstinacy reason, and other men's reason faction. We in the mean while must believe that wisdom and all reason came to him by title with his crown; passion, prejudice, and faction came to others by being subjects.

"He was sorry to hear, with what popular heat elections were carried in many places." Sorry rather, that court-letters and intimations prevailed. no more, to divert or to deter the people from their free election of those men, whom they thought best affected to religion and their country's liberty, both at that time in danger to be lost. And such men they were, as by the kingdom were sent to advise him, not sent to be cavilled at, because elected, or to be entertained by him with an undervalue and misprision of their temper, judgment, or affection. In vain was a parliament thought fittest by the known laws of our nation, to advise and regulate unruly kings, if they, instead of hearkening to advice, should be permitted to turn it off, and refuse it by vilifying and traducing their advisers, or by accusing of a popular heat those that lawfully elected them.

"His own and his children's interest obliged him to seek, and to preserve the love and welfare of his subjects." Who doubts it? But the same interest, common to all kings, was never yet available to make them all seek that, which was indeed best for themselves and their posterity. All men by their own and their children's interest are obliged to honesty and justice: but how little that consideration works in private men, how much less in kings, their deeds declare best.

"He intended to oblige both friends and enemies, and to exceed their desires, did they but pretend to any modest and sober sense;" mistaking the whole business of a parliament; which met not to receive from him ob

ligations, but justice; nor he to expect from them their modesty, but their grave advice, uttered with freedom in the public cause. His talk of modesty in their desires of the common welfare argues him not much to have understood what he had to grant, who misconceived so much the nature of what they had to desire. And for "sober sense," the expression was too mean, and recoils with as much dishonour upon himself, to be a king where sober sense could possibly be so wanting in a parliament.

"The odium and offences, which some men's rigour, or remissness in church and state, had contracted upon his government, he resolved to have expiated with better laws and regulations." And yet the worst of misdemeanors committed by the worst of all his favourites in the height of their dominion, whether acts of rigour or remissness, he hath from time to time continued, owned, and taken upon himself by public declarations, as often as the clergy, or any other of his instruments, felt themselves overburdened with the people's hatred. And who knows not the superstitious rigour of his Sunday's chapel, and the licentious remissness of his Sunday's theatre; accompanied with that reverend statute for Dominical jigs and maypoles, published in his own name, and derived from the example of his father James? Which testifi Which testifies all that rigour in superstition, all that remissness in religion, to have issued out originally from his own house, and from his own authority. Much rather then may those general miscarriages in state, his proper sphere, be imputed to no other person chiefly than to himself. And which of all those oppressive acts or impositions did he ever disclaim or disavow, till the fatal awe of this parliament hung ominously over him? Yet here he smoothly seeks to wipe off all the envy of his evil government upon his substitutes and under-officers; and promises, though much too late, what wonders he purposed to have done in the reforming of religion: a work wherein all his undertakings heretofore declared him to have had little or no judgment: neither could his breeding, or his course of life, acquaint him with a thing so spiritual. Which may well assure us what kind of reformation we could expect from him; either some politic form of an imposed religion, or else perpetual vexation and persecution to all those that complied not with such a form. The like amendment he promises in state; not a step further than his reason and conscience told him was fit to be desired;" wishing "he had kept within those bounds, and not suffered his own judgment to have been overborne in some things," of which things one was the earl of Strafford's execution. And what signifies all this, but that still his resolution was the same, to set up an arbitrary government of his own, and that all Britain was to be tied and chained to the conscience, judgment, and reason of one man; as if those gifts had been only his peculiar and prerogative, entailed upon him with his fortune to be a king? Whenas doubtless no man so obstinate, or so much a tyrant, but professes to be guided by that which he calls his reason and his judgment, though never so corruted; and pretends also his conscience. In the mean while, for any parliament or the whole nation to have either reason, judgment, or conscience, by this rule was altogether in vain, if it thwarted the king's will; which was easy for him to call by any other plausible name. He himself hath many times acknowledged, to have no right over us but by law; and by the same law to govern us: but law in a free nation hath been ever public reason, the enacted reason of a parliament; which he denying to enact, denies to govern us by that which ought to be our law; interposing his own private reason, which to us is no law. And thus we find these fair and specious promises, made upon the experience of many hard sufferings, and his most mortified retirements, being thoroughly sifted to VOL. I. 57 2 N 2

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